NBC’s upcoming reboot of Xena: Warrior Princess will not be set in the modern day, as has been previously reported by many outlets.
That’s one of a few tidbits dropped during a special Q&A that reboot showrunner Javier Grillo-Marxuach and Xena comic scribe Genevieve Valentine took part in for io9. The two interviewed each other with questions about the character and what to expect in the new series.
First of all, the series, which will not have Lucy Lawless and Renée O’Connor back as Xena and Gabrielle respectively, won’t be set in the present day and reshaped for a more modern setting.
“It’s interesting because the communications I get from the fans make it sound like we are going to throw everything out and make it into the Jem and the Holograms version of Xena,” Grillo-Marxuach said.
“People have been asking me if it’s going to be set in the modern day (if that were the case, I wouldn’t have signed on or come near the thing) and whether or not Xena is going to have a Chakram (to which I always reply “Of course she’s gonna have a Chakram, what am I, a monster?”).
Grillo-Marxuach certainly sounds like he’s keen to keep the basic elements of what made the original show work so well. But that isn’t to say that certain elements won’t be different.
“I’m really looking forward to remixing the canon a little bit,” Grillo-Marxuach revealed.
“One big thing is that we are telling a much more serialized story than the show ever tackled—so formally we are already treading some very different ground—and while the characters will occupy roughly the same thematic spaces they did in the original, some of their backstories will be changed, and some of their morality will be tweaked so that we can tell a long-arcing story in which every episode leads directly into the next.”
And the original show’s sexier side? Grillo-Marxuach confirms the “pulpy elements” will be back, even suggesting a Game of Thrones influence.
“A great deal of the appeal of the show lies in certain pulpy elements—like Gabrielle’s bare midriff, Xena’s leather miniskirt, Callisto’s amazing and gravity-defying… well, you get it—and it’s hard for me in the post-Brienne of Tarth era to reconcile with the idea that Xena and her friends can meet every challenge in such skimpy outfits,” he said.
“I think we are going to have some very lengthy discussions about how to bring those elements into the present day without missing the boat on what makes Xena exactly what she is; and how to have our cake and eat it too. There are a few things that are sacrosanct: the Chakram and the quarterstaff, of course, Gabrielle’s ambition to become a bard, and—most importantly—that Xena and Gabrielle be soul mates. Like I said, I’m not monster.”
We’ll keep you in the loop with how this one develops.